First Nations ATINYs are expressing concern over a comment made by ATEEZ‘s Yunho that is considered culturally insensitive.
In the most recent episode of ATEEZ’s show Curse Of The Money Hole, Yunho (as well as the host of the show) reportedly made a joke in which he made inappropriate use of the word ‘Indian.’ The host was wearing a pirate costume, which Yunho joked about saying that it was suitable for playing ‘Indian Poker.’ They then joked about him looking ‘like an Indian,’ and other members of ATEEZ laughed, leading to some discomfort for First Nations ATINYs.
‘Indian Poker’ is an alternative name for ‘Blind Man’s Poker,’ a version of poker in which the players hold their cards to their heads so that they can’t see them but others can. The game was called ‘Indian Poker’ due to the basic similarity between a First Nations headdress and how the cards look on a player’s head. Due to its insensitivity, the name is now seldom used, with ‘Blind Man’s Poker’ being the preferable option.
ATINYs are now expressing deep concern over the way Yunho made use of the word ‘Indian.’ This is due to the fact that the word is rooted in misconception about First Nations people, and has a long history of being used to subjugate, demean, and dismiss them.
ATINYs who identify as First Nations have pointed out how frustrating it is that the term continues to be used when First Nations people already have their own preferred names.
Yet, as they call out the ill-usage of the word, ATINYs are hoping to inform the members of ATEEZ about the issue rather than see them attacked.
This is in large part because ATEEZ have proven that they are considerate and open-minded artists, which is evidenced by the fact that leader Hongjoong himself once asked fans to always hold him and the group accountable.
Not only that, but he also gained praise from ATINYs for being open about his desire to be always mindful and inclusive of all people.
Therefore, given that Hongjoong and ATEEZ have expressed their willingness to take responsibility for their mistakes, ATINYs believe informing them of this particular mistake is the right thing to do.
While it’s unlikely that Yunho and the members had any malicious intent with the joke, it is important that all cultures be respected. Fans hope that ATEEZ take note of the issue so that both fans and the members can move forward with mutual respect.
For further reading on the issue, Twitter user @laiabot has drawn up some great sources!
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